With two weeks left of the regular season in volleyball, North Pulaski Coach Benjie Belton is finally seeing the fruits of his teaching. Currently, the Falcons are in fourth place in the 5A-Central and should be able to stay there and earn a spot in the state tournament.
"I’m really proud of the girls, and we continue to communicate and play defense," Belton said. "They are moving on the floor and moving before the ball gets there. The girls are really playing well on defense and in serve receive."
Belton praised the efforts of libero Ashton Van Horn, Shelby Floyd, Casey Mullen and Sidney Silvas. Floyd is back after missing the first part of the season with a medical issue. Silvas is a newcomer to the lineup.
"Sindey is a senior who hasn’t played much because she’s been hurt," Belton said. "This year she hasn’t been hurt at all. She had some good practices, earned a spot and hasn’t lost it."
The one area Belton would like to see improvement is serving. While North Pulaski isn’t missing as many serves as earlier in the year, that area could be more consistent.
"We are getting a little more confident and getting the ball in," Belton said. "Still, I just don’t see why anyone can’t serve consistently. It’s like hitting free throws."
This week, the Falcons have an easy week as they defeated Jacksonville in three sets Tuesday. Mills was on the agenda last night. The important week is next week as North Pulaski hosts Little Rock Christian on Tuesday and Sylvan Hills on Thursday. If the Falcons do what they are supposed to do, the fourth seed is a lock, but they could move to third with a victory over Sylvan Hills. In the first meeting, North Pulaski won the first two sets before Sylvan Hills took the next three for the victory. A three-set victory could give the Falcons the third seed.
"The girls are so excited about playing Sylvan Hills and wishes it could be today," Belton said. "Next week is a big deal."
With the end of the season approaching, finishing strong is important. Belton says the main thing his team is doing is focusing on getting better.
"Any time we take a timeout, in pre-game and post-game we talk about getting better," he said. "The last two weeks you should be polished, and we are still progressing. Maybe in the next two weeks, things will click."